Welcome back. I am glad you are here. Tonight I am going to talk about hope. Hope is an anchor to hold at times when the storms of life seem to rage around you and me. I was at a meeting recently where different people shared what hope meant to them and how they maintained hope. Faith was a common denominator in maintaining hope. I have heard an excellent description of faith…the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
In the scope of things not seen, my faith may become disillusioned by my expectations. Expectations set me up for a combination of things in life…disappointment and resentment. Disappointment can leave me feeling victimized when I do not get what I want. Reality has shown me that there are no happy victims. I can also choose to hold on to resentments, but reality has shown that resentments are like drinking poison, while hoping the other person dies. Disappointment and resentment hinder my ability to experience hope.
Over time, when many of my expectations did not come to fruition, I began to question life. Henry David Thoreau summed up my state of mind. “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with their song still in them.” I found myself settling for a random chance at life. I felt stuck by my circumstances.
But hope was on the way.
I made the decision to start singing. I made the decision to use hope, rather than waiting for hope to arrive. I decide to use hope when I learn and mature from my circumstances. Hope cries out to me with this question, “Are you willing to learn?” My response is resoundingly, YES! Hope no longer needs to be saddled by my expectations.
I am anchored in today, through a relationship with a loving God who knows and cares about my future. In actuality, He has declared, I know the plans that I have for you, plans for good and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.
My hope resides in being willing to learn from what comes my way. I am not limited by circumstances. Circumstances are not meant to keep me down, but to build me up. You are like a bird that is about to be set free from its handlers. Rejoice in that reality. Your circumstances, your feelings, your disappointment and even your resentments are for your good. You are being taught invaluable lessons. You will not go to the grave with your song still in you. Your eyes are being opened and you hear yourself humming.
Be encouraged. More will be revealed.
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